News

The Path to Public Service at SEAS

News

Should Supreme Court Justices Have Term Limits? That ‘Would Be Fine,’ Breyer Says at Harvard IOP Forum

News

Harvard Right to Life Hosts Anti-Abortion Event With Students For Life President

News

Harvard Researchers Debunk Popular Sleep Myths in New Study

News

Journalists Discuss Trump’s Effect on the GOP at Harvard IOP Forum

U.C. Concludes Legislative Agenda

Okays Long Slate at Term's Last Meeting; Hyman to Seek Re-Election

By Todd F. Braunstein

The Undergraduate Council last night concluded its legislative agenda for the semester, approving a number of uncontroversial resolutions and nearing passage of two constitutional amendments.

Also at last night's meeting, council President Robert M. Hyman '98 and Vice President Brian R. Blais '97 announced that they would run for re-election to their respective posts next month.

Following the most heated debate of the night, the council rejected by a vote of 23-17 a "courtesy" amendment to its bylaws. The measure would have required the council to contact and solicit a response from any individual or group that would be commended or condemned in any proposed resolution before the council.

Under the amendment, the council would have been required to contact Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 before criticizing his selection of Judith H. Kidd as assistant dean for public service, for example.

Those supporting the bill welcomed the opportunity for more informed debate.

"We weaken our defense and our offense by not knowing our enemy," said Elizabeth A. Haynes '98. "In the end, [soliciting opposing viewpoints] makes us stronger advocates."

But those speaking against the bill said that the council would be potentially hurting its own cause.

"It doesn't really fit what we're here to do as a council," said Noah R. Freeman '98. "We're student advocates; we're supposed to be biased. We're elected to advocate for students."

The council also agreed to sponsor petitions at spring registration opposing the implementation of randomization of the housing lottery; requesting a review of Harvard's academic calendar; and asking President Clinton and perhaps Congressional representatives to restore federal cuts to student financial aid.

Concerned that administrators would focus only on how many students had not signed the randomization petition, some council members proposed creating a fourth petition that would have allowed students to express support for the new housing policy.

But the council rejected this petition, in part because it did not want the drive to turn into an unscientific survey.

Lewis' predecessor as dean of the College, L. Fred Jewett '57, randomized the housing lottery last spring: Lewis himself co-authored a 1994 report on the structure of the College recommending the change.

In 1994 the council proposed that the University adopt a revised calendar that would have moved fall-semester exams before winter break. The Faculty Council swiftly rejected the proposal.

In other business:

* The council was well on its way to approving a constitutional amendment and bylaws package under which groups seeking yearlong grants from the council would apply in the fall. The council must use phone voting to obtain the three-quarters of its membership necessary for a constitutional amendment.

* The council will also conduct a phone poll to complete voting on a constitutional amendment requiring it to maintain a balanced budget every year.

* The council unanimously agreed to sponsor a survey on first-year academic advising.

* The council also allocated up to $600 for a dance on Jan. 31, the first night of the second semester. The dance will be held in the Freshman Union if possible, otherwise the council will rent out Loker Commons.

In remarks before the meeting began, Hyman and Blais both said they enjoyed working with the council this semester but wanted to take care of "unfinished business."

Hyman and Blais may well run unchallenged next month in the last internal officer selection before the council holds popular elections for its president and vice president in April.

Justin C. Label '97, a former council vice president who ran unsuccessfully for president in the fall, said in an interview last night that he will not challenge Hyman next month. In a separate interview, Campus Life Committee Co-chair Rudd W. Coffey '97 did not explicitly rule out a bid next month, but said he will "probably not" oppose Hyman.

"Rob's done a good job this semester," Coffey said.

Coffey has failed in previous presidential and vice presidential bids but has said that he will run again for president under popular elections

But those speaking against the bill said that the council would be potentially hurting its own cause.

"It doesn't really fit what we're here to do as a council," said Noah R. Freeman '98. "We're student advocates; we're supposed to be biased. We're elected to advocate for students."

The council also agreed to sponsor petitions at spring registration opposing the implementation of randomization of the housing lottery; requesting a review of Harvard's academic calendar; and asking President Clinton and perhaps Congressional representatives to restore federal cuts to student financial aid.

Concerned that administrators would focus only on how many students had not signed the randomization petition, some council members proposed creating a fourth petition that would have allowed students to express support for the new housing policy.

But the council rejected this petition, in part because it did not want the drive to turn into an unscientific survey.

Lewis' predecessor as dean of the College, L. Fred Jewett '57, randomized the housing lottery last spring: Lewis himself co-authored a 1994 report on the structure of the College recommending the change.

In 1994 the council proposed that the University adopt a revised calendar that would have moved fall-semester exams before winter break. The Faculty Council swiftly rejected the proposal.

In other business:

* The council was well on its way to approving a constitutional amendment and bylaws package under which groups seeking yearlong grants from the council would apply in the fall. The council must use phone voting to obtain the three-quarters of its membership necessary for a constitutional amendment.

* The council will also conduct a phone poll to complete voting on a constitutional amendment requiring it to maintain a balanced budget every year.

* The council unanimously agreed to sponsor a survey on first-year academic advising.

* The council also allocated up to $600 for a dance on Jan. 31, the first night of the second semester. The dance will be held in the Freshman Union if possible, otherwise the council will rent out Loker Commons.

In remarks before the meeting began, Hyman and Blais both said they enjoyed working with the council this semester but wanted to take care of "unfinished business."

Hyman and Blais may well run unchallenged next month in the last internal officer selection before the council holds popular elections for its president and vice president in April.

Justin C. Label '97, a former council vice president who ran unsuccessfully for president in the fall, said in an interview last night that he will not challenge Hyman next month. In a separate interview, Campus Life Committee Co-chair Rudd W. Coffey '97 did not explicitly rule out a bid next month, but said he will "probably not" oppose Hyman.

"Rob's done a good job this semester," Coffey said.

Coffey has failed in previous presidential and vice presidential bids but has said that he will run again for president under popular elections

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags